iRun because I cannot say no to a second slice of chocolate cakeEmily Shandruk , Vancouver, BC

iRun to stay fit and release those running endorphinsLiliana Plava , Calgary, AB

iRun because I want to qualify for Boston and raise money for charities near and dear to my heartChristine Gracel , Calgary, AB

iRun because it makes me feel good, allows me to spend time with my friends and gives me a feeling of accomplishmentHelen Kolodziejzyk , Calgary, AB

iRun but not enoughMichael Shaw , New Westminister, BC

iRun because I never thought I would be able toGary Morris , Winnipeg, MB

iRun to challenge myself, physically and mentallyKathleen Keenan , Brampton, ON

iRun because people around me inspire mePina Bevilacqua , Caledon, ON

iRun therefore I amDuncan Walsh , Nottingham, UK

iRun because I liveGeorges Schneller , Laval, QC

iRun to be free and enjoy our beautiful countryCheryl Carter , Clearwater , BC

iRun for overall wellbeingTrish McCourt , Halifax, NS

iRun because it makes me a better person, a better wife, a better mother and a better friendNathalie Joncas-Caissie , St-Antoine, NB

iRun because it makes me feel powerfulCarlene Paquette , Carp, ON

iRun because pecan pie, french fries and beer are chasing meTeresa Sterling , Ottawa , ON

iRun because it’s in meMichael Foley , Stittsville, ON

iRun because it reminds me that I am capable of so much more than I have doneJames Sauve , Ottawa, ON

iRun for meKiza Francis , Ottawa,ON

iRun to prove to myself I canLesley McGougan , Brampton, ON

iRun because all the ladies are chasing my sexy runner’s bodyChris Baker , Etobicoke, ON

iRun because I can and I’m gratefulTerry SanCartier , Gatineau, QC

iRun because when I run I feel most aliveMeghan Lynch , Ottawa, ON

iRun to unleash my inner athleteAdelle Densham , Avonmore, ON

iRun because it cleans up my life, because I drink more water, sleep better and eat healthier foodsRobin McIntyre , Ottawa, ON

iRun because of the peace and strength it brings meMichelle Jordan , Ottawa, ON

iRun because I need it to soothe the soul, keep me in shape and for overall wellbeingBeth Neil , Lombardy, ON

iRun because it is my tonic and my salvation Georgia Ioannou , British Columbia

iRun for relaxation and to motivate my two sonsKeith Bradbury , Newfoundland

iRun because endorphins are freeCassandra Chouinard , Ontario

iRun because somebody once told me I couldn’t Heidi Abbey-Der , Saskatchewan

iRun because couch potatoes die young Cathy Andrew , Ontario

iRun because it’s cheaper than therapy Leah Boulter , Alberta

iRun because I like buying running clothes Pamela Blaikie , Ontario

iRun slowly!Jason Hoffman , Manitoba

iRun because it gives me freedom to relax my brainMarie-Claude Gregoire , Nova Scotia

iRun because I learn more about who I am with every kmSteph Mansell , Quebec

iRun because iEat Sherry Maligaspe , British Columbia

iRun and run, and run, and run, and nobody can stop me Andrei Lucaciu , Ontario

iRun because the wall is meant to be broken Jonathan Bird , Ontario

iRun because it has saved my life John Marshall , Alberta

iRun for the challenge to go faster and farther Steven Matejka , Alberta

iRun to my happy place and some days it’s very Doreen May , Alberta

iRun because food tastes better afterwards Patrick Houston , Alberta

iRun because I can’t dance Mario Javier , Ontario

iRun so I don’t say never ever again Linda Klaric , Manitoba

iRun because it makes me whole Denis Ladouceur , Quebec

iRun because it gets my husband out there Tricia LaLonde , Alberta

iRun away from the negative and towards the positive Teri Lepard , Alberta

iRun because running is like breathing to Stephanie McEvoy , Ontario

iRun because I love the solitude Janene Tailleur , British Columbia

iRun for the moment when both feet are off the ground Catherine Anderson , British Columbia

iRun to someday win the race Lindy Dunlop , Yukon

iRun to stay ahead of the weight gainMyra Abstreiter , Alberta

iRun because otherwise I’m grumpy Alexandre Charest , Quebec

iRun because I get foot rubs afterward Kate Howerton , British Columbia

iRun because iLoves my man Beverly Huang , Alberta

iRun because not everyone can Olivia Harvey , New Brunswick

iRun to get to know myself, my strength and my spirit Lisa Groulx , Ontario

iRun whenever I feel the need to escape Iona Hillis , Ontario

iRun because it’s like flying, only lower Glenn Johnson , Ontario

iRun because it makes me feel powerful Sarah Kallaghan , Alberta

iRun because I’ve lost 80 lbs and running has become fun Cheryl Kelly , Ontario

iRun because there is no finish line Claire Kilgour , Ontario

iRun so my daughters know that they can, too Shelley Kirkpatrick , New Brunswick

iRun because it reminds me of how strong I can be Monique Lavoie , Ontario

iRun because it’s a great way to see the world Sherry Mahoney , British Columbia

iRun because my heart tells me to William Martin , Manitoba

iRun to prove to them that iCan Catherine Smith , Manitoba

iRun because it’s fun when it’s done Sue Matte , Ontario

iRun because I am not as clumsy I thought I was Hanna Baer , Quebec

iRun see where my feet will take me todayMegan Dolinskas , New York

iRun for the cool t-shirts! Pina Bevilacqua , Ontario

iRun because I want to be a role model for our six kids Catherine Empey , British Columbia

iRun to inspire my kids to tryGlen Johnston , Nunavut

iRun so I can eat ice cream Sandy Bolan , Ontario

iRun because I want to live to be 100! Colette DeJean , Ontario

iRun for health, i Run for life Pat Cheung , British Columbia

iRun because it gives my day a boost of energy Sara Campbell , Nova Scotia

iRun because it’s better than almost everything else Nathan Carey , Ontario

iRun at 50 years old because at 43 I couldn’t Peter Cicalo , Ontario

iRun because it's better than almost everything else Nathan Carey , Ontario

iRun at 50 years old because at 43 I couldn't Peter Cicalo , Ontario

iRun because it is my tonic and my salvation Georgia Ioannou , British Columbia

iRun for relaxation and to motivate my two sons Keith Bradbury , Newfoundland

iRun because endorphins are free Cassandra Chouinard , Ontario

iRun because somebody once told me I couldn't Heidi Abbey-Der , Saskatchewan

iRun because couch potatoes die young Cathy Andrew , Ontario

iRun because it's cheaper than therapy Leah Boulter , Alberta

iRun because I like buying running clothes Pamela Blaikie , Ontario

iRun slowly! Jason Hoffman , Manitoba

iRun because it gives me freedom to relax my brain Marie-Claude Gregoire , Nova Scotia

iRun because I learn more about who I am with every km Steph Mansell , Quebec

iRun because iEat Sherry Maligaspe , British Columbia

iRun for my heart, so it runs for me! Cathy Brzoza , British Columbia

iRun to inspire my children! Wendy Bowen , Manitoba

iRun because it sure beats the bus Robin Robbins , Alberta

iRun for the challenge and to remember to fully live Pascale Synnott , Québec

iRun to kickstart my day Sharon Strueby , Saskatchewan

iRun for me! Judi Wearing , Saskatchewan

iRun because it's a great stress release Brooke McKenzie , Yukon

iRun because i love to Mirella Petriello , Ontario

iRun because it helps me see things more clearly Jennifer Pitts , Ontario

iRun to eat Maureen Tritscher , Alberta

iRun to correct years of sedentary living! Mike Scott , Ontario

iRun away from the abyss Charlene Thomas , Ontario

iRun all the livelong day Pierre Saint-Laurent , Québec

iRun to challenge my perceived limitations Cassandra Williams , Ontario

iRun to maintain a strong physical and mental state Tammy Rainville , Ontario

iRun so that I can live longer and stronger Derek MacPhail , Ontario

iRun to feel great Kathryn Rachar , Saskatchewan

iRun because I like to be healthy Melanie Oickle , New Brunswick

iRun to eat more, especially sweet potatoe fries Joanna Skomra , Ontario

iRun for the fresh air and adrenalin Charlyn McGregor , Saskatchewan

iRun for the individual pursuit Robert Pelletier , New Brunswick

iRun to satisfy the irresistible urge Tim Nixon , British Columbia

iRun because I love the sense of accomplishment Amber Moase , Nova Scotia

iRun to challenge my mind, body and soul Sonia Mendes , Ontario

iRun because walking is too slow Barry Knapp , Ontario

Motivation, News, Racing, Training

Rachel Hannah on Injury Detection, Prevention and How to Run Again, Quickly

Earlier this week, we featured a discussion with Rachel Hannah, the 30-year-old marathon phenom who already earned bronze at the Pan American Games on only her second marathon attempt. Next month, Hannah will toe the hallowed line at the Boston Marathon, and she’s doing so after recovering from a painful foot injury. As a follow up to our previous discussion with this exciting young race star, we asked her to dive deeper into her injury and injury prevention. 
Q) Take us to the beginning of your injury story. What happened and what did you have?  
A) It started with Plantar Fasciitis (PF) on my right foot shortly after STWM 2016 and this was particularly bad during Nationals XC. I was able to mostly train through it after taking some scheduled down time in December and doing some extra cross training days if it was too painful to run on.
Q) What does that feel like and do you think the training with PF was a bad move? 
A) PF feels worst first thing in the morning when getting out of bed and tends to feel better as the day goes on. The same thing with running, it tends to be sore when you first start out into your run but then feels better towards the end. Mileage runs and slower pace efforts were fine but doing anything faster and with less supportive shoes tended to flare it up. I don’t think it was a bad move to train through it since I was able to eventually get rid of it with proper strengthening and a change in my orthotics. But it might have resolved sooner though had I have taken at least a week or two off. At least I learned ways to make my feet stronger in the process to eventually recover from it without having to take too many days off.
Q) What adjustments did you have to make? 
A) I learned the right activities to “load it” and get my foot stronger from Desmond Fung and I do these everyday for about 10-15 minutes. Jim Marando made me a new pair of orthotics that had more cushioning in the heel and encouraged my foot to land more on the outside of my foot to alleviate the pressure and help with the PF. Both of these adjustments helped it go away after about 3 1/2 months. 
Q) Do you think the PF was a result of your running style? Where do you strike the ground and, importantly, where do you think us middle-of-the-pack folk should aim to land?
A) Yes, after a lot of thorough assessments of my alignment and running on a treadmill, Desmond figured out what was causing this. I was crossing over my mid line on the right side and landing harder on my right foot with every step. I tend to strike more towards my heel on the right side as a result of my form. My form was also related to a weaker glute muscle on the left side and tight adductor muscles on the left. I now do hip alignment drills and glute activation techniques before every run to make sure I am in the best possible alignment before I start my runs. It is best to try to land mid foot when possible and really try to toe off on every step to generate more power. 
Q) In February, your PF went away, but it still wasn’t smooth sailing. Can you continue your story from there? 
A) Yeah, after the PF went away almost immediately after I was completely pain free I had another issue start with my cuboid/ankle/subtalar joint area on the same foot. It was basically a tugging sensation when I ran fast and with a normal stride. It also hurt when walking normally. Again some cross training days spent pool running and lots of treatment with Desmond, Aly and Jim to figure out the issues.
Q) So again you sort of kept training through the pain? Is this advisable? I know it’s so hard to stop for all of us, but for an elite athlete like you it must be close to impossible. 
A) I did continue to train through this one since I had NACAC XC fast approaching and it seemed to be getting better about a week before but there was still some pain and the worst during and after workouts. I would not advise to push through any pain that tends to hurt at night after a workout and feels worse the next day. Also, if it’s affecting the way you walk then you should cross train until pain free again. You would think I would have learned my lesson after all these years running but now I really do know when I can run through something and when I need to take time off. 
Q) So to continue your story, you’re feeling a tugging sensation but now the Pan Am XC championships are approaching.
A) It got a bit better before NACAC XC so I still went, but my last workout on the Wednesday morning before we left did not go well and I was in pain. Right there I should have not gone on the trip to Florida, but I went anyways feeling hopeful that with a few days off it would go away. NACAC XC did not go well since I was running through pain and I learned a valuable lesson that day: listen to your body and don’t run through pain! 
Q) I think that’s an important lesson for all runners to hear. How do you differentiate between the pain you ignore and the pain that actually makes you take off your sneakers? 
A) A pain you can work through is one that tends to get better as you run and doesn’t flare up or get worse after the run and is not making you alter your stride or the way you walk in any way. Any pain should be properly assessed by a professional though to determine what is causing it and the best treatment plan to get stronger. Pain usually isn’t the best indicator of an injury that’s why it is important to reach out and get treatment right away. A pain that gets worse as you run or is sharp and makes you alter your stride or is very sore afterwards is one you should not ignore and should get treatment right away for. Cross train until the pain is gone and you can run normally. 
Q) You must’ve been nervous with Boston fast-approaching and all these assorted ailments. What happened next, after the Pan Am XC? 
A) I took a complete week off at the start of March and got lots of treatment to figure out the issues. My cross training included pool running, a bit of swimming, rowing and stair climbing either in my mom’s condo or on the stair climber machine at U of G. After a few adjustments from Jim to help with my cuboid and ongoing treatment with Desmond and a few sessions with Aly, I finally felt some relief and the tugging sensation went away. Then it was a matter of getting my foot stronger, moving properly and not overdoing it now that I could run again. I built back really slowly the first two weeks and would combine running with cross training right after for extra minutes. We were very cautious and it paid off. 
Q) It seems like working with experts and taking it slow, you were able to rebuild and heal. 
A) I have now had two weeks of regular Marathon training and am feeling strong. I still have some sensitivity in the muscles in my foot since they are still adapting and getting stronger. It has been over a month since I have not worn orthotics and I have been wearing them for over 5 years now. I will continue to get treatment 1-2 times a week and do my pre-run activation activities and strengthening drills for at least 30 minutes each day. 
Q) Now that we understand the physical, can you talk a little about the mental anguish that all runners can relate to—that feeling of missing a run, breaking your program and falling behind? 
A) I never gave up during this process and kept a positive attitude. I cross trained very hard and put in extra minutes since that is what is needed to replicate running. This injury taught me the importance of resiliency when faced with a setback like this in my Marathon build leading up to Boston. I also learned that fitness doesn’t disappear overnight and that injuries often lead us to figuring out areas of weakness and the things to do to get stronger. So take time off and cross train hard if needed when faced with injury and find the right professionals to help you along the way to get back to pain free running!
Q) Good luck in Boston, Rachel. Can you leave us with your final take away?
A) The hardest situations teach us the most valuable lessons in the end. 

April 7th, 2017

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